Ben Simmons Sounds Off on Nets Struggles in Recent Interview

Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant

Getty Ben Simmons #10 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets look on during the second half against the Miami Heat at Barclays Center

On November 16, it was reported that the Brooklyn Nets were growing more and more frustrated with their star Ben Simmons. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that those within the Nets organization have growing frustration with Simmons, his lack of availability, poor play, and have even questioned his overall passion for the game. 

“According to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the frustration surrounding Simmons had been building in recent weeks within the organization. The coaching staff and players have been concerned about his availability and level of play, with some questioning his passion for the game, those sources said. But even when he did play, Simmons’ struggles in his first nine games this season were part of the Nets frustration as well,” Charania wrote


Simmons Speaks Out on Struggle-Filled Season

Simmons has struggled so far in his time with the Nets. After failing to make his debut in Brooklyn last season, he has only experienced poor play since the season started. Simmons recently sat down with Shams Charania and discussed his recent struggles as well as how he is again battling injury. 

“You’re obviously not gonna be happy when anybody’s out,” Simmons told The Athletic. “But for me, I’ve been dealing with the knee since the start of the season. It’s been swollen. I had PRP (injections). I had blood drained a couple times. So it’s not a made up thing, you know? It’s a real thing.

“I get (the skepticism), but I think the one thing with me is that I’m a competitor. I want to win and play. So I’m gonna do what I can to get out there.”

Simmons also spoke more about the sides of his injury that others aren’t aware of. 

“There’s only so much I can really do (about perception),” Simmons said. “You can’t make people believe, you know? They weren’t there when I was on the floor and couldn’t walk (because of his back). They weren’t there when I was in the ambulance getting taken to the hospital (after a Feb. 22, 2020 game at Milwaukee). People weren’t there, so they don’t know. That was the first episode I had against Milwaukee. That was the original trigger of it…right before COVID, the start of my back issues.

“But that’s a part of my journey. There’s times when I couldn’t walk. I had a dead foot. Couldn’t sleep. A lot of stuff was going on with me, physically, to where it was tough. But there’s only so much I can say for somebody to believe, you know?” Simmons said.


Jacque Vaughn on Ben Simmons

Simmons isn’t the only one to comment on his recent struggles and emphasized that consistency is what he wants to see from the Nets star. 

“It’s the consistency piece of it,” Vaughn said before Tuesday’s game when asked about his expectations for Simmons. “Trying to stabilize this group has been the challenge overall, not only the things off the court but us having people in some games, out of some games – not (playing) back to backs. So we try to not use any excuses. This is who we are. I’m gonna coach this group. Whoever’s available that day, that’s who we’re going to play.

“So he can be considered the five. He can be considered (a player who is) grabbing the rebound and pushing it, and he’s the one-slash-five. And so we’ve tried to surround him with smalls where he can dribble-handoff and push the pace, and have shooters around him. It was all based off the space piece, and we needed to maximize our space with Kevin being out there on the floor. And I think as we continue to grow together as a group, that’s going to evolve. And Ben is going to evolve, and you’ll see more and better of him.”

 

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